Generation Cedar

“Do you see that the church is completely dependent on what is taught in the homes of its people? Likewise the civil society is also dependent on it. What has happened over the last 50 years is that self-discipline is no longer being taught in the home, either because parents are not present or because they have chosen not to take the difficult task of parenting seriously enough.”

“A New Kind of Church” by Eric Rauch points out the error in Brian McClaren’s book, A New Kind of Christianity and poignantly describes the proper way we must think about the church if we desire to see its effectual power around us:

It starts in the home!

“Remember that God ordained three separate and distinct realms of government…The most basic of all of these realms is, of course, the family, and basic to the proper operation of the family is the practice of self-government. No family, church, or society will exist long with members that are not self-governed (self-disciplined).”

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12 Responses

  1. Read Eric’s article and thought it was well-written and thought-provoking! Yes, I agree the church cannot shoulder and effectively deal with the responsibilities origially given to the families! (and neither can the government effectively handle the responsibilities given to the church!)

  2. I do not believe scripture teaches that the family is the “first” or primary institution created by God. From the beginning of time, God’s redeeming plan has been Christ (the bridegroom) and the church. Our marriages are a reflection/picture of Christ and the Church. First, Christ and the church, then marraige.

    The church must be primary, the family secondary.I do not mean primary in taking all our time with unnecessary time commitments but primary in worship and teaching and commitment to other saints.
    Longterm homeschoolers are failing in this area. As long as we believe that our home life is primary, we are raising children who believe that commitment to a church (local and worldwide/universal) is optional. The second generation of homeschoolers is growing up with a weak commitment to Covenant community and corporate worship.

    Yes, we home school, home birth and have a home business. Yes, we are committed to our family but there is something bigger than the family, however imperfect it may be; and that is the local Church.

  3. Great thoughts…I agree!!

    If our home life is not first, it’s a huge mistake! Without discipline at home and Christ being at the center we will fail miserably!

    Jill, You’ve left me a bit confused as to what scripture points to the convictions you’ve written of. Just curious to know how you all as a family came to that conclusion? If we are not self-disciplined in our home and walk with Christ…how will we desire to be apart of body of believers? I think that through the teachings at home and the focus being Christ we’ll desire the fellowship, worship, etc and it will drive us to be apart of the church. Just my thoughts.

  4. Jill – “From the beginning of time, God’s redeeming plan has been Christ (the bridegroom) and the church. ”

    While I do believe in for-ordination, we do have a model of fellowship with God that does not include the church (universal).

    Before mankind needed a redeamer (and circimcision, baptism, passover, communion and anything else you might consider religious or sacramental), we had one-on-one felloship with God – that is, Adam and Eve did. Before Christ’s Kingly priesthood, or any priesthood, there was a family and God.

    Eric’s use of the word “first” I believe denotes chronological, not utmost, if that’s helpful.

    Rememer, you are first in a family before you are in a church institution. Chronologically speaking.

  5. Jill (et al),

    Pope John Paull II said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live” and wrote that the family, in particular the mother, was the primary educator of the faith because the home is the first place that those born into Christian homes will be exposed to the faith; it is where their characters are shaped and habits built.

    I think that this is what the article is speaking about. Before our children understand “church” or truly conceive of themselves as a part of their church, they do understand the family and that they are members of it. So, in a sense, the family has primacy. Moreover, we can never trust that any parish or church is going to educate our children in the faith or shape their characters in Godly ways. Lots of kids in my generation (I’m in my 20s) fell off the bandwagon because their parents erroneously assumed that the priests (or preachers) or the Sunday School teachers were going to do the educating for them. Not so! And, in this sense, the family also has primacy over the church as an institution, because the parents have the most immediate and direct responsibility and influence over the hearts and minds of the children God gives to them.

  6. Kelly, I’m pretty sure you’ve already read his books, but along these lines, I am LOVING Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham right now. SO much truth in that book…

  7. Jill, I’m not sure if this is what you mean, but I agree to a certain extent that our families – by blood and in faith – are both to be honored and cared for. There are families who would seem to have substituted their own wisdom for God’s – there’s an idolization of the ideal for it’s own sake, rather than a home-base for the glorification of Christ. The precept of “separate” becomes “isolated” which is decidedly unBiblical, as best I can tell. And some church families do that, too …Just my opinion –

    However, there are just as many families who neglect the spiritual and practical duties of their own households in order to “help” or “provide outreach” or serve in the church … I submit that one negates the other – what’s the point of outreach if we’re setting up our own families for decline? There’s nothing edifying in that sacrifice. If we’re blessed with children in our own homes, wife or husband, that’s the point of influence where we can affect the largest benefit for the larger body. We are to tend to that charge first, because it promotes the strength required to meet the call of serving others. And I find that in the Bible – Titus, Timothy, Proverbs, to name the obvious. God is orderly and logical (gratefully, says she who is not, always 😉 ).

    There are lots of political interpretations of the Bible lately – I’m not suggesting anyone here is doing that, but it’s become a convenient means of manipulating people to pursue certain agendas that have no foundation in scripture. One of the most popular is used to minimize the importance of the nuclear family in the world and in The Faith, contrary to secular evidence and Biblical instruction. It’s worth being aware of.

  8. Jill,

    To second cottage child’s clear explanation, I think the fact that family is so “organic”, that is, its existence so obvious, that it doesn’t qualify as “first” or second or any such competitive position with the church. The church is a family of families–organic or otherwise. Our nuclear families are threads that weave the tapestry of the Church at large. Those threads must be strong for the whole of it to be.

  9. Yes, family is very, very important. Abraham was told that through him all the families of the world would be blessed, not all the “churches”. The church is a family of families.

    What woiuld be helpful is look at the “qualifications” for leadership in the church, whether deacon or elder. One of the things we read is that they must be able to govern their own homes as men of God before they can even be considered as leaders of God’s people. Homes must be in order for the church to be in order surely?

    The church does not divide into families, rather families come together as the church.

    love blessings and shalom to all of you


  10. I agree with this article. We need to get back to being self- governed in all areas of our lives.

  11. Yes, I would say that Cottage Child hit my concerns on the head…I see far too many homeschooling families reacting to the apostasy of the local church by substituting the family and calling it the church. It is true that we can justify abandoning our families by saying that we have to “minister” and many North American churches do emphasize “outreach” to the detriment of the family.

    This being said, believers are called to unite together in a covenant community for regular teaching, worship and breaking of bread. Such things as baptism and marriage are to be witnessed in such a community of believers as well. Yes, a family who only receives teaching in the church(and does not regularly practice family worship and teaching at home) will be a weak family but, I submit, so will a Christian family who teaches their children from the word only at home and does not meet together regularly with other believers.

    To be truthful, I am becoming a bit more concerned about “over”emphasizing the importance of family because two years ago we moved to a very large county is Washington state where the majority of homeschoolers have not been members of a local church for many many years. I have never seen anything like it and it is very alarming. Several hundred people continue to homeschool and teach their children that Jesus is Lord and yet everyone of these Christian couples has a different reason for why they left their church, and every “reason” has to do with an unforgiven hurt or offense against them.

    So, these conservative Christian homeschoolers are living very independently from a local church body and where do they do when they have a marital problem, a physical need, a prayer need? As long as they believe that the Christian family is an end to itself all seems to be well!
    Why are they shocked when their children grow up and live independently from anyone and turn away from their Christian teaching?

    I want to be very careful not to give anyone an excuse to leave the church!We are to be very aware of our own sinful tendencies and to uphold God’s ordained institutions however weak they may seem to be.

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